New Carrier Ready to Take Off in North Dakota

With the two planes it has now, P2P has made hundreds of flights since it began limited operations in January. It now has received further FAA certifications.

To keep P2P in the air for the long term will take a major investment, Kauffman said.

"With planes costing $500,000 to $2 million, we've got to raise a lot of money," Kauffman said. "We've got nine planes on order, with plans to have 15 to 20 by the end of next year. We want to have 100 or so planes eventually. We want to raise between $50 million and $100 million over the next 18 months."

Lee said that most of the investment will be made in planes and people. The company has little infrastructure to buy and maintain, only the planes, which they plan on having distributed throughout the region.

Currently P2P wants travelers to make reservations over the phone, but it is developing a Web site that will allow for reservations and also let travelers work together on scheduling flights.

Kauffman said the program is being developed, but is turning into a time-consuming and expensive proposition, though it should provide great dividends in the future.

Kauffman says P2P has gotten a jump on other large corporations who are just now making plans to provide similar services. He said that Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are developing personal airlines similar to P2P, but have not yet gotten off the runway.

Copyright 2005 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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